In Philippians 2, Paul speaks to the church. He says they are to be united in mind and love, and humble. They are not to do things out of selfish ambition but to put others before themselves. He encourages them by focusing on the humility of Jesus--God Himself became a servant who died a gruesome death on their behalf.
"Be like Jesus" is a saying we hear so often it can seem like a pat phrase, but the reality is that it is the standard for our lives. Putting others before ourselves means laying down our lives and what we are entitled to so that another might benefit.
This is not the way of the world. Whether it's in our jobs, schools, or personal relationships, the questions that guide our actions are often self-centered: "How does this benefit me?" "Should I even put in the effort?" "What will be my return on investment?"
Yet Jesus shows us another way. He shows us that love is willing to sacrifice. He humbled Himself to the point of death so that we might experience life. And we are called to know and be like Him so others may know Him too.
These are the questions I am asking this Lenten season, and I invite you to join me: "What areas of my heart need to change so Jesus is reflected more in my life?" "Am I laying down my life so others can see His goodness and know the greatness of His love?"
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:1-8